Continuing his impressive run of form, Graham Jarvis claimed a convincing victory at the seventh running of the Battle of Vikings extreme enduro in Sweden.
Following his third place result in 2014 Jarvis’ return to Storstenshöjden in Sweden saw the Brit put in a mistake-free performance to top the final podium over Sherco's Wade Young and KTM's Lars Enockl. After a rather cautious start to the race, Jarvis passed Wade Young for the lead just before the halfway point and kept plugging away. Completing his seventh lap just before the four-hour mark, he was the only racer to complete a full eighth lap.
“The race was a bit tougher than in 2014, but I’ve definitely learned from my experience,” confirmed Jarvis. “I got off to a slow start and was also struggling with arm pump. I knew it was going to be a long day so kept working hard. I passed Ljunggren before the refuelling and then Young for the lead shortly after. There weren’t any really difficult sections but with no time to rest the race was quite exhausting.”
Setting the pace early on, Sherco’s Wade Young settled for the runner-up spot at the chequered flag.
”I’m pretty happy with the way I rode and with getting second,” told Young. “Obviously it’d have been better if I beat Graham, but I had my share of bad luck. My chain came off on lap six, breaking my gear lever and I lost almost 15 minutes to repair it. Overall it was a physically demanding race and it’s fair to say everyone was exhausted at the end.”
Passing Joakim Ljunggren for third right after the three-hour mark, Austria’s Lars Enockl went on to secure the final spot on the podium. The defending champion Ljunggren had to settle for fourth.
“It just wasn’t my day,” said Ljunggren. “I got the lead right after the start and pushed hard to make some time over Young. But then I crashed hard and had to start all-over again. I’m a bit disappointed with fourth but the guys that beat me are more used to racing in such kind of extreme conditions.”
Final Results – Battle of Vikings 2016 (Top 6)
1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 8 laps, 04:15:25
2. Wade Young (Sherco) 7 laps, 04:00:14
3. Lars Enockl (KTM) 7 laps, 04:09:49
4. Joakim Ljunggren (KTM) 7 laps, 04:15:56
5. Xavier Leon Sole (Husqvarna) 6 laps, 04:00:36
6. Magnus Thor (Beta) 6 laps, 04:15:44
Photos: Kalle Lundstedt / Race Magazine